Monday, November 15, 2010

Giada’s Chicken Cacciatore

Giada De Laurentiis is one of my top favorite food network chefs! She had very high ratings for her chicken cacciatore, so I gave it a shot! I took Giada’s recipe as the base and changed it up as I pleased.

Giada’s Recipe:


• 4 chicken thighs
• 2 chicken breasts with skin and backbone, halved crosswise
• 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour, for dredging
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 3/4 cup dry white wine
• 1 ( 28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
• 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 3 tablespoons drained capers
• 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
• 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves


1. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour to coat lightly.

2. In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. If all the chicken does not fit in the pan, saute it in 2 batches. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic to the same pan and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juice, broth, capers and oregano. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and turn them to coat in the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes for the breast pieces, and 20 minutes for the thighs.

3. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a platter. If necessary, boil the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Spoon off any excess fat from atop the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, then sprinkle with the basil and serve.

I made the following changes:

Instead of using bone-in chicken, I used 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut them into bite size pieces. David and I don’t really care for the dark meat, so we like to stick to breasts! I decided to keep this dish healthy so I stir-fryed the chicken using cooking spray and lightly seasoned them with salt and pepper. I did not coat the chicken in flour to keep this on the lighter side.

I went a little crazy with the veggies by adding red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, squash, and carrots! Geez-oh-man, I love veggies!

I chose Riesling for the white wine (I happened to have some in the fridge) and used about a cup of it. I added 1 cup of chicken broth and 2 cans of diced tomatoes with juice to keep the veggies and chicken immersed in enough liquid. Obviously I was using WAY more than what Giada’s recipe was calling for!

The capers were omitted, I never really cared for them. I added fresh garlic, dried oregano, parley, and basil.

Once dinner was ready, the chicken cacciatore was topped with parmesan cheese (I used the Veggie Cheese) and freshly chopped basil! This was a wonderful dish.

I had planned on cooking pasta on the side, but completely forgot about it and remembered the morning after. Where is my head? Haha. Needless to say, the dish was still great without the pasta. The sauce was delicious! Thanks Giada!

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